Velvet Shank

Flammulina velutipes var. velutipes

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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Velvet Shank Flammulina velutipes var. velutipes (Curtis) Singer syn. Collybia velutipes (Curtis) P. Kumm. (illustrated 50% life size) Cap 2–10cm across, convex at first then flattened; tan-yellow, darkening towards the centre; smooth and slimy. Stem 30–10×4–8mm; yellowish at apex, dark brown and densely velvety below; tough and cartilaginous. Flesh concolorous; thin; taste and smell pleasant. Gills pale yellow. Spores 6.5–10×3–4¼, elliptic. Spore print white. Cheilo- and pleurocystidia present. Cap cuticle cellular, of irregular, clavate elements with elongated, narrow processes and conspicuous, fusiform, somewhat thick-walled dermatocystidia. Habitat in clusters on decaying, deciduous trees, especially elm; late autumn to spring; can survive being frozen solid, and on thawing produces more spores. Very common. Edible.